In this day and age, longevity in a friendship is something of a rarity. It is most certainly worth cherishing. As life progresses and we get older, most of our time goes in trying to prepare ourselves to face the world. We immerse ourselves in our studies, map out our career plans, hunt for jobs; and in parallel, we start families, make time for hobbies, and may even make new friends. Somewhere along the way, it hits us that, though on the surface it may just seem like it’s just life playing out as it should, our past is actually gone. Transcendent moments of joy turn into happy memories, while many other memories turn blurry; what once seemed to be as concrete as bricks turn to stardust. If you move away from your hometown, it’s likely that many of your friendships will have faded with time. But the strongest friendships persist, and they blossom into something greater than you could have imagined; your truest friends become family.
Long-distance friendships are an odd phenomenon. Some friends may call you every other day to keep you in the loop with what’s going on in their lives. On the other hand, there are always those friends that you don’t speak to on a regular basis, but when you meet them it’s as if nothing has really changed. It’s not that these friendships are easy in so much as they are effortless. You don’t choose your truest friends; they’re chosen for you. What do we talk about when we talk about long-distance friendships? We are talking about trust. We are talking about comfort. And we are talking about honesty. There is nothing like a friend who can tell you when you are making errors in judgements or doing things for the wrong reasons, because it’s the very same friend who will also be there to wave the flag and support you in your most important endeavors. True friendships are a mark of authenticity. When a friendship goes long-distance, in a way, it’s a test to its strength. The best long-distance friendships will brave any kind of storm.
A Little Effort Travels a Long Distance
True as it may be that authentic friendships are effortless, putting in work to maintain them is necessary nonetheless. There’s a give and take in every relationship, and a long-distance friendship is no different. You want to do all that you can to assure your friend that, even if you’re not there with him physically, you are always present to his or her needs and emotions. It helps to check in with them as frequently as you possibly can. You can enquire about your friends’ work, hobbies, new habits, family, and be there with support and feedback whenever they require. You can let them know in your way that keeping you in the loop on seemingly insignificant little things means the world to you. And this will most certainly touch them deeply.
In the early stages of moving abroad or far from home, your best friend may expect you to put in the additional effort to keep in touch. Is this entirely fair? Perhaps not. But as we established, friendships and relationships call for a give and take, and sometimes you may have to be the one that gives more. It’s not just about expectations, it’s just that your friend may take a little time to get used to the fact that you’re not around. Give the friendship some time to flower into what you know it to be deep down.
Want to know the best way to invest effort into your long-distance friendship? Send your friend a gift that he will treasure for the rest of his life. In this article, we’re going to explore 8 timeless gift ideas for your best friend.
Gifts of an Eternal Kind
A true gift is timeless in its essence. The thoughtfulness you show your friend will make a difference to his life. But where does it come from?
Selecting the gift takes effort, as does keeping in touch and sending it across. But generosity, thoughtfulness - these things aren’t the result of time. They are more like states of being that we unconsciously tap into with certain people. These are the people who go on to become your friends for life, and you wade through difficult terrain with their support and loyalty.
Here are 10 gift ideas for your long-distance best friend:
- A Classic Watch
Ironically, there is nothing that captures the essence of timelessness more than a beautifully made time-teller. Gift your friend a gold watch, and not only will he know the exact hour of the day to get in touch with you, he’ll remember you every time he’s on time for a meeting, arrangement, or date!
- Matching Friendship Lamps
Lamps can be a hit or miss. But pick the right one and you’ll find that it will last you a lifetime. Friendship lamps are perfect for this. They allow you to communicate with each other in a unique way. Once they're set up in their respective locations and connected to the local Wi-Fi, you can touch one lamp to make the other light up in a predesignated color! A non-intrusive way to connect with your long-distance best friend.
- Stylish Matching Bracelets
Let’s face it, bracelets can be a corny gift. But if you’ve got an eye for color and design, and a great aesthetic sense, you might just be able to pick ones that you and your friend will treasure for life. Consider picking up matching bracelets made from leather. Ones of natural stone beads can be great too. There’s a certain charm to a stylish bracelet that makes you want to wear it on certain occasions.
- A Beautiful ‘Old-School’ Camera
Like Vinyl records, analog photography - and polaroids - will never truly go out of fashion. What could be a better way of encouraging a friend to capture moments in all their glory than to gift him or her a vintage analog or polaroid camera? Analog, old school photography captures - right down to tone and color - captures the warmth of a moment the way that its digital counterpart can only hope to emulate.
- An Acoustic Guitar
A vintage Yamaha or Gibson acoustic guitar has a longer shelf and inner life than the average human being. Yes, that’s right, an inner life. Acoustic guitars capture “soul” the way that electric guitars can’t really.
And that’s because an unplugged guitar becomes an essential part of your home, and its sound develops along with the acoustics of the room. In a way, an acoustic guitar captures the essence of a physical space in musical form. All you have to do is play it! Gift your friend an acoustic guitar and pretty soon, songs about your shared life experiences will come pouring out!
- A Beautifully Crafted Photo Book
Photo books come in a wide range of shapes, designs, and sizes. A great gift for your best friend would be a large photo book, distinguished by a complex design and unique sense of craft. Fill a part of the photo book with pictures of your most cherished memories - from your childhood home, or from a particular trip.
To top it off, it would be an excellent addition to add notes and comments to various photographs to create a narrative, which your friend can further add to.
- A Set of Lovely Hard-Bound Books
Literature is all about unraveling the mysteries of life through the art of wielding words. Shakespeare. Charles Dickens. Oscar Wilde. James Joyce. Hermann Hesse. These are writers whose works will never go out of fashion because they weren’t in fashion in the first place. What could be a better way to celebrate your shared love of literature than to gift your friend a set of hard-bound books by his or her favorite author? A great book will keep coming back to him as he changes and reflects on his life, and he’ll know that you’re right there with him through the changes.
- Long-Distance Board Games
Now, granted, board games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. A lot of people seem to believe that they’re to be grown out of a certain age, perhaps around adolescence. Yet, for many other folks, board games are a way of life. And you just get more involved and play it differently each time as you get older. If you and your best friend are the kind to get immersed in board games and enjoy the occasional squabble, it would do you a world of good to give him or her a set of classic board games. Monopoly, Life, Pictionary, Scrabble - these are the ones that just don’t age.
Unwrapping the Gift of Friendship
We live in a world where the word ‘friend’ can mean any number of things, especially in modern times. Is it a metaphor? Is it a number on social media? Is it an old pen pal? If we’re talking about friendship in its truest sense - an authentic relationship that can easily survive its separation by geography, we’re entering a zone that really can’t be captured in words.
Sometimes, it’s that one special gift you may give your best friend that sparks off an entire catalog of memories, emotions, and laughs, that you may share but may not have expressed. A great American troubadour and singer Carl Perkins once sang, “think of me now and then, old friend”. Every friend has felt this sentiment at some point, but nothing needs to be said. When the right gift arrives at your best friends’ doorstep, distance ceases to exist.